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Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

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    Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

    Yesterday I had my "Medicare Annual Wellness Visit" - my first such visit! The time with the doctor was less than five minutes. I should mention that I see my PCP every six months for several medical problems. I was unaware that this visit was my "annual medicare wellness visit". The doctor didn't even listen to my heart and lungs; actually, the doctor didn't touch me at all! A nurse took my temperature, blood pressure and pulse. I was given a two page questionnaire with questions that basically asked if I could take care of myself..... The nurse gave me a "cognitive exam". What month is this? What year is this? Count backwards from 20. My medication list wasn't discussed only to ask if there was had change to my meds - the list of the medication wasn't mentioned at all.
    Does anyone know what the purpose of the exam is? I certainly have MS issues - horrible fatigue, cognitive issues, spasticity, etc etc.

    #2
    Hi its2much. Sorry to hear of such a horrid "Medicare Annual Wellness Visit". Several years in and I still have not had one - sounds like a great reason not to .

    But I have been badgered into a "Home Health Visit" by my medicare plan. A total waste of my time and their money! While there may be some people who honestly don't know what they are taking or why - I do! I know when I am supposed to take which meds, what they are for and even any side effects to be aware of. I have a blood sugar meter and a blood pressure meter and my readings are well within range, as is my weight. NO, I do not have any questions that I would like for the nurse to answer for me. But every year I am 'forced' to go through this mess.

    But "It's free". So what? The nurse cannot write any prescriptions for me or order any tests for me. But I am to put my dogs outside and wait for a visit from them within a 4 hour time frame! Really?!?

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could determine what "help" we need ?

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      #3
      I would have opted out if I had been told I could do so. My Medigap policy doesn't require it. If they had, I would have had more than one in the past. I wonder what exactly is reported to Medicare. I searched online for what was suppose to be done - my "exam" falls short!

      Looks like the doctor receives a higher reimbursement for this than an office visit (more would have been done if it had been an office visit). I'm annoyed with my PCP - thinking of changing after this!
      My neurologist does a much more through exam as does my other specialists!

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        #4
        This is what should have been covered:

        A "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit: You can get this visit only within the first 12 months you have Part B. This visit includes a review of your medical and social history related to your health and education and counseling about preventive services, including these:
        Certain screenings, flu and pneumococcal shots, and referrals for other care, if needed.
        Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements.
        A calculation of your body mass index.
        A simple vision test.
        A review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety.
        An offer to talk with you about creating advance directives.
        A written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you need. Get details about coverage for screenings, shots, and other preventive services.

        If the doctor examines you, that is another type of visit & he cannot bill Medicare for a "Welcome to Medicare".

        This is an old billing practice of Medicare that really should be changed as it's a waste of resource dollars. With the new health models that require most to get physicals yearly, this practice is redundant.

        Jackie

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          #5
          Wow!

          I learned quite a bit reading the above comments. Guess just like MS the visits are all different!

          Like It's2much... I was unaware that this visit was my "annual medicare wellness visit". Maybe because now my annual physical (which I admittedly skipped for a few years, my bad) was labeled "a medicare wellness visit"?

          It was as thorough as annual physical, some nurse, some PCP (hands on), some stat taking / questions, routine. I get blood work done pre visit, on a faxed (can you believe it?) script, so doc gives me a print out and his comments. Under 30 minutes with doc & nurse.

          Oh, and Doodlebug, a sketchy variation of everything you said plus... among my paperwork.... a medical POA! Cannot comment on it being billable to Medicare since, other than the paperwork handout, all was the same.

          And unlike It's2much, my OD does a much more through exam than my neurologist!

          Jer

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